The East Contra Costa Fire District is asking for a new added tax that is said by proponents to increase service models, add equipment, upgrade stations, put paramedics on engines, and add personnel. The cost to taxpayers is an extra $197.00 for each parcel of land owned. Con Fire is also asking for a new tax for Antioch. That tax is for $97.00. Both of the Districts are dependant districts of Contra Costa County and ultimately run by the Board of Supervisors.The focus here is the East County Fire tax and the questions that arise as to why this tax is written the way it is.
1. Why there is an escalation clause that has no ending to it? Why?
2. The tax at first asked for an annual 5% increase. Now it is down to 3%. Why?
3. Is any part of this tax earmarked for paramedics on engines when the district already pays a separate tax for specialized paramedics driving special QRV vehicles over and above ambulances?
4. How can there be an $11 million dollar surplus in year five and an $11 Million dollar deficit in year 11 when the tax has an escalation clause and prop 13 increases?
5. Why doesn’t the Board of Supervisors create a new re-organized County Fire for a final solution instead of all these wasted studies?
And the $64,000 question…could it be politics and special interests are the reason for the new tax and not an actual necessity?
While I have my own questions, I am sure district property owners have their own questions. I encourage everyone to attend one of the Town Hall Meetings schedule thru March so that our community can get the facts we need to help improve fire safety in East Contra Costa